Last weekend was filled with some intense double-duty in Berlin: me attending The Hive European bloggers conference and both of us doing some serious neighborhood scouting and apartment hunting for our move. It was a bit much to cram into five days, but somehow we managed - and managed to have a great time in the process.
Since I had not been to a 'professional' event in some time, I was just eager to get out there and feel, well, professional. With a sense of purpose - not to mention some awesome free business cards from MOO - I left The Hive with a bit of a fire lit beneath my ass, which is just what one needs when feeling a little alone and afloat amidst about a million other digital personas vying for blog readers' attention. Speaking of so many bloggers, what I wouldn't have given for a list of attendees before the conference to study who would be there and who best for me to connect with. There were so many people, it was impossible to chat with everyone.
In addition to getting a serious butt workout (sessions were either on the first or fourth floor - no elevator) and some really great inspiration, I also left with some great technical tips and tricks, particularly on growing your community from Deborah Beau of Kickcan & Conkers and SEO from Georg Seebode of Android/ Linquisite / Digital Cosmonaut. Coming from the world of marketing and communications, I found much of the content to be a bit of a review, but it never hurts to brush up - especially after being out of the game for so many years!
Perhaps the best part of the conference was connecting with other bloggers, both new and those I already knew. After years of chatting online with fellow American expats Mandi of No Apathy Allowed and Tiffany from No Ordinary Homestead, we finally got to meet face-to-face. I also had the pleasure of meeting the very sweet Melanie of Dejlige Days and the not-too-far-away Sharon of Travel Meets Food, not to mention the 'what a small world' moment of meeting Nina (of the soon-to-be Pinspiration blog), a Berliner who is originally from Wiesbaden, and many other great bloggers. It was so great to meet everyone I did - and I hope I get the chance to cook for Natali of Kochen, Kunst & Ketchup as soon as we move to Berlin!
Deborah Beau of Kickcan & Conkers
More from Tina's presentation
A somewhat narcissistic highlight was when I discovered that Luisa Weiss of fabulous food blog The Wednesday Chef had anonymously Instagrammed a photo of what I was wearing on day two of the conference. It was kind of like when major blogger Nat the Fat Rat commented on my food Instagrams that she wanted me to come to New York and teach her to cook. I got all humbled and giddy, like the nerdy girl who gets asked to prom by the captain of the football team. But seriously - what an ego boost! (though I am still kicking myself for missing Luisa's presentation to wait for Pantone's contest winners that were never announced)
Pantone contest for my blog entry wasn't too shabby either. I admit, it was a bit of a let-down to be given my prize as more of an afterthought, after the conference had ended, rather than getting any of the recognition outlined in the giveaway. But hey, free chair.
All in all, The Hive was a good experience and I left ready to dive into about a million things for my blog - both for my current blog and as I set to work on my new one. After some more rest first, please. Phew!
Presentation from Desiree of Vosgesparis
All images are mine, except the Instagram from The Wednesday Chef